A Non-OSX PowerBook?

My PowerBook saga continues.  I thought that I'd come up with a
pretty stable system last week: install 10.3 from the install CDs and
don't apply ANY updates.  Some of the updaters would be nice to
have, but at least with bare-bones 10.3 allowed me to do things like
boot up.  Unfortunately, last night, it decided that it didn't
like running stock 10.3 anymore either.

So now I'm looking at alternative OSes for the machine.  Gentoo
Linux seems to be the best candidate from my brief looking.  Has
anyone had any experience running Linux on a PowerBook G4, and can
offer tips, tricks, or other guidance?

4 responses to “A Non-OSX PowerBook?”

  1. John

    Barney —

    Not sure switching to linux will solve your problem. I was having random crashes on my G3 Powerbook for quite some time. I tried replacing the RAM I could access, tried different hard drive and a few other things. I finally just dealt with crashes. Eventually it got too bad. Apple repair costs were too high so I eventually sent it to PowerBookResQ (part of MacResQ). They have a $99 24hr diagnostic and a cheaper $49 72 hours diagnostic. They ship you a box and everything for your powerbook. It turned out to be bad RAM. It was the one stick under the CPU module that I could never get to (and came stock when I bought it). I had them put my 512 from the top slot into the lower slot and junk the old 128 that came with my powerbook.

    Anyhow..long story short.. it sounds like it probably is a hardware issue and installing Linux probably won't solve it.

    For Linux, I have always heard YellowDog Linux for PPC was one of the best out there. I haven't not used it myself, but they are one of the oldest linux supporters for the PowerPC architecture.

    - John

  2. Simeon

    Linux World magazine did a feature on using YellowDog on your mac. It was a good article and I have considered doing a dual boot.

    Maybe next time I have to reload I will go that route.

  3. Geoff M Pennington

    I would have thought hardware problem as well. i know of some ibook users who have had their mainboards replaced because of similar symptoms.


  4. anon

    i have 12' pbg4 running debian/tiger as well as a (2gb) partition setup for sharing and swaping data between my os's. it took a little work (kernel, XFree86Config, trackpad, etc) to get things running smoothly but overall im happy with the results. linux-on-laptops.com has tons of links to step-by-step help and of course google is your friend. good luck!